Nani To the Rescue? Maduro The Dictator. The 77-Year Old Billionaire. The Second Time Around.
The end of Orlando City’s 2018 season was a downer. A losing streak, the media pummeling the management and ownership, and the fandom in deep decline. With many of the supporters still in the nay-saying mood, kudos to the OCSC ownership and management for instigating ‘the pivot’. By that I mean hiring a seasoned technical director, discarding and re-purposing the player pool, bringing in a veteran goalkeeper who will anchor ‘the spine’ of their system, and securing an impact player in Nani. Will Orlando City make the MLS playoffs? Will they be a team to be reckoned with… at least at home? Next Saturday starts the test but at a minimum the team and their ownership/management have stirred the pot for what I think are many positive moves to start the 2019 season.
I will stay out of the political slant to this issue, but the drama and sadness in Venezuela continues. While tons of supplies, food, and medication has been sent help the people of this devastated country, Venezuela’s president has now closed the Colombian and Brazilian borders, keeping this much needed aid sitting idle. It is amazing to me, that in 2019, #NicolasMaduro, Venezuela’s dictator, can control the destiny of millions of people in a South American country. I don’t have the answer to this and really do not know what the tipping point will be to instigate armed conflict…but if politics and relative detente’ can’t fix this…then other countries, not just the U.S., should. So very sad.
Owning an NFL franchise. A net worth of $7 billion. Winning six Super Bowls with one of the most successful football teams of all time. And at 77-years old, Robert Kraft, to most of us, must be on top of the world. Then on Friday, reality strikes as Mr. Kraft and many others are charged with soliciting prostitution at one of those random massage parlors. Not in the rural areas of north Florida, but in the exclusive area of Jupiter, FL, a beautiful area with luxury ocean-side homes and golf courses. No matter the intent or reason, can anyone explain why a 77-year old billionaire has any motivation to enter a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida? I guess the answer is obvious, but if you tell me it was to correct his L-5 or L-6, you need to get smart, soon.
They sucked bad. There is no other way to describe Atlanta United’s performance on Thursday night in Costa Rica. Twitter and soccer blogs blew up on Friday calling for manager Frank de Boer’s head. The rhetoric related to the ass-kicking received by Atlanta United at the hands of Herediano, a Costa Rican club, who similar to Atlanta United, qualified for this year’s #CONCACAF Champions League. For all of you naysayers, lets keep things in perspective: 1) The coach, Frank de Boer, is new 2) The player pool has changed a bit 3) Playing in San Jose, Costa Rica has not yielded a positive result for many U.S. clubs 4) Herediano, like most clubs around the world, is in the middle of their season. Major League Soccer plays March to November, so this was Atlanta United’s first competitive match of the season. 5) Pity Martinez, the reigning South American player of the year, is very good but is not an exact like-for-like for Miguel Almiron. Almiron was sold in the winter transfer market and Thursday night may have reinforced how valuable he was to Atlanta United. 6) de Boer started two very young players on defense in George Bello and Miles Robinson. The defense, maybe due to de Boer’s tactical decision to play three in the back, was shredded by Herediano’s very fast counter-attacks and stupid giveaways by Atlanta 7) Remember that Atlanta United won the 2018 MLS championship after starting off the season with a blow-out loss to Houston. None of these seven points are an excuse for not matching the physicality of Herediano on Thursday night. The second match of this two-leg aggregate is this Thursday night at Kennesaw State’s stadium. de Boer must do many things different with the starting eleven as well as the shape (formation) he uses in this rematch. The away goal Atlanta United scored Thursday night was important, as a 2-0 win at home will advance United to the next round. Let’s see what de Boer comes up with on Thursday night, and here is hoping that he uses the wisdom of his years at the Dutch club, #Ajax, to make Atlanta United play like last year’s MLS champions.
Two weeks and counting to daylight savings time!
Adios and have a Funday Sunday!!